Because running an art business is challenging, having artist allies is essential.
Thanks to ongoing collaboration with Sanger’s local art gallery, Mixed Messages (and owner, Kathleen Mattox), I have had the opportunity to work with Kathleen and Paul Parichan on a regular basis. They are both talented artists in their own right, but they also believe in supporting other artists too.
Right before the holidays, Paul outdid himself.
When artists boost each other
He messaged me to ask, “How would you like to have your work in a museum gift shop?”
What artist says no to that kind of opportunity? I was so grateful! Many artists work for years to get their art into the right venues.
In our conversation, I learned that Paul has a long relationship with the Fresno Art Museum. Its gift shop was being re-opened after a long absence under new direction from Michelle Ellis Pracy. As Fresno Art Museums’s (FAM) Executive Director & Chief Curator, she is also an artist ally. Her focus in the gift shop is to promote local artists.
Michelle told me, “Bring us your big show stoppers.” This was music to my ears.
Bringing my show stoppers
As a working artist, you face a dilemma every time you create. Do you make items that will sell? Or do you produce more dramatic art that uses the wide range of skills you have honed through the years? It’s often a balance of both.
This means that while I sell lots of affordable art, I also have a swirling, glittering collection of fine art pieces made from the highest quality elements (silver wire and high-end artist’s glass beads, for example). I love making them, but they’re above the price point most people are thinking when they go to a craft show.
Michelle’s encouragement got me excited to rescue these treasures from storage. After hunting through my stash, I came up with eight “show stopper” art pieces.
Here’s a sneak peek at a few:
I’m really excited to be at the Fresno Art Museum’s gift shop. Michelle curated it to include many talented local artists, and I’m honored to be shown with them and in that kind of company.
Sometimes making art can seem like a solitary endeavor, but thanks to Kathleen, Paul, and Michelle, I’m reminded of the importance of a supportive art community and artist allies.
See my work at the Fresno Art Museum gift shop
Want to support local artists too? The Fresno Art Museum is re-opening on February 2 with a brand-new art installation. The gift shop is full of over-the-top local art (including several more of mine not pictured above). If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll stop in to take a look!